Continued concern about teens congregating downtown in the evening was voiced during the July regular meeting of the Monett City Council.
A business employee whose establishment remains open late said teens have again been gathering at Fourth and Broadway. Some have pounded on the door of her business and raised concern about her safety. She said she did not want to call police for an escort to her car if possible.
A concentration of teens downtown after business hours was cited last summer by business operators for discouraging business. The complainant said one window had been broken at a business and she attributed graffiti to the teens.
Her biggest concern was that police seemed ineffective in dealing with the situation. One officer criticized her in front of the teens for raising her concerns. She also felt an 11 p.m. curfew was too late for a crowd to be loitering after business hours.
Mayor Jim Orr said he would discuss the matter with Police Chief Tim Schweder. City Administrator Dennis Pyle said he asked Schweder for a proposal to install cameras in the vicinity.
Street Superintendent Russ Balmas reported crews resurfaced about 83,000 square yards of streets around town with chip and seal. The oil can take up to three or four months to complete melding with the rocks. Rocks were laid more heavily so that the excess could be swept up and reused.
Fire Chief Tom Jones said, "We're holding our breath every day" over the fire conditions in the area. City crews were part of a 13-department effort to stop a wildfire on July 17 northeast of Monett. City crews made subsequent runs to the fire scene to help with flare ups from hot spots, Jones said.
All of Lawrence County is under a burn ban by order of the Lawrence County Commission. Jones said he had heard of no similar determination for Barry County, though the fire chiefs from Monett, Monett Rural and Pierce City Rural Fire Associations and the Purdy Fire District have placed a burn ban on the north part of the county.
Utilities superintendent Pete Rauch said customers used 105 million gallons of water in June. Residents and industry used 5.6 million gallons in a single day inmid-July. Most of the wells are running 16 hours a day.
The water table level tapped by the #12 well at North Park has dropped somewhat this year. The monitor well at the municipal golf course has dropped 95 feet since May 1, though Rauch said the well level during the 2006 drought was 190 feet lower.
Rauch stressed watering at the golf course continues to be done with treated effluent from the wastewater plant, and not drinking water. The city has seven million gallons of storage in all its water towers, a good reserve in case of problems.
"We ask people to be conscious about the amount of water they use," Rauch said. "It's not necessary to water your lawn daily. Lawns do fine if they're watered every other or every third day."
Electric department crews changed 17 poles in June, placed a new transformer at one of the Monett industries and continue to change out primary lines with better wiring.
Pyle said the city had received the collector's deed from Barry County for the lots placed for sale for back taxes at Olympia Foundry. He expected a filing would follow to secure a clear title on the property, giving the city a key piece of land for flood control efforts.
Monett Main Street plans to buy new banners with the new logo, showing the classic light pole design. Pyle said Main Street has agreed to help with logistics on the Hispanic Heritage Festival, which will be held downtown on Saturday, Sept. 15.